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Which colour should I choose for my solid hardwood flooring?

clip_image002If you’re convinced that solid hardwood flooring is what you want to opt for in your home then the next decision you will have to make is which type of colour you want and is it going to suit your home?

To answer this question you need to think not only about what kind of tones and colours you like but also which ones will compliment your home and its features.

First of all, the style and colour of your walls and ceilings are bound to have a big impact on the colour that you choose, but you should be aware that more permanent features such as beams, window frames, fireplaces and cabinets also have an important role to play. These types of features are likely to be more costly and expensive to replace than more temporary aspects such as wallpaper, curtains, chairs, tables and sofas. Where possible, you should try and pick a colour which is complementary to these more permanent features.

It’s important to think about the overall style of your room too. Do you have a theme? Are you aiming for a modern, bright and minimalistic style or would you prefer a classic, traditional look? The colour that you choose for your flooring can really help to tie the room together in this regard.

Trends in wooden flooring have seen homeowners move away from lighter tones of flooring like golden and amber shades to a range of darker palettes, with colours like coffee, grey, dark brown and even black becoming more popular.

Different shades of flooring achieve different things and you may find that while a darker colour makes your room look sophisticated and trendy it makes your room appear too boxy when compared with a lighter shade. In contrast, you might find that a light colour doesn’t make the most of the natural lighting in your room.

You can also choose from a range of different finishes for your wooden floors. Oil based finishes can highlight golden tones for an airy feel, while water based finishes maintain a more natural and organic style. While the different grains that appear on wooden flooring are popular, some people prefer a more monochromatic look which can be achieved by choosing a stained wood.

For more information on hardwood and engineered wooden flooring please refer to our free guide or click here to see what other alternatives are available.

How to choose flooring for a child’s bedroom

imageWhen it comes to choosing flooring for our homes, one of the key decisions to get right is choosing the correct type of flooring for your child’s bedroom. As our children grow we will often need to redecorate their bedrooms; the pink painted walls might not be sophisticated enough for them as they grow into teenagers or they may fall out of love with the football team inspired wallpaper.

However, when it comes to flooring if you make the correct decision then you might manage to find a floor that will last for a very long time.

Hard wood floors

Hardwood floors are a versatile and durable choice for a child’s bedroom. They are tough and long lasting and also provide a unique floor as every grain of wood is different. Children make lots of mess and you might also find that spilt paint or drinks are much easier to clean up from a wooden floor than a carpet.

In terms of longevity, wooden floors are versatile and as they aren’t a particular colour they can fit most decors, so if you wish to redecorate the walls you won’t necessarily need to change the carpet to match.

Carpet

One of carpet’s biggest selling points is that is comfortable and warm. If you’re child craves these things then you should opt for a carpet. This means that they will have comfort underfoot and if they have their friends around to play then they can all play together while sat on a cushioned floor. Carpet’s downside is that requires more regular cleaning than a hardwood floor.

Vinyl flooring

Vinyl flooring can also be a good choice. Although it’s not as comfortable as carpet or as durable as a hardwood floor it is still a strong contender on both counts. It is durable, easy to clean and comes in a wide array of colours and designs.

Other considerations

While you should think hard about the practicalities of the flooring that you are purchasing for your child’s bedroom, you should also be mindful of what they would like. While you should ask questions such as how long the flooring will last, does it have a warranty and how easy is to clean, you should also consider which type of flooring your child might like.

An attractive bedroom that looks fun and engaging, or matches the interests of your child can go a long way to making them want to spend more time in their bedroom. Whether the reason for wanting this is because you want them to feel at home in a new house, or simply that you want them to go to bed on time, a good floor can achieve this.

For more information on choosing flooring for each room of your home please refer to our full room by room guide by clicking here, visit our company showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln, or give us a call on 01522 524374.

Happy Lincolnshire Day!

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Lincolnshire Flooring backs local health project

clip_image002Lincolnshire Flooring is very pleased to support the work of SHINE, an award-winning mental health support network for Lincolnshire. SHINE is supported by funding from the Mental Health Promotion Fund and works to help people who are at risk from or in recovery from mental illness.

One of the ways that SHINE does this is through its Staying Well programme. Explaining what the Staying Well programme is, SHINE Director Charles Cooke said: “Staying Well is making a real difference to people’s lives. Since its launch in 2012, the programme has supported around 200 people.

“The initiative is funded by Lincolnshire County Council, through the Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Trust’s Managed Care Network for Mental Health, of which SHINE is a part. We use this funding to buy essential goods, which may help people to set-up home, get back to work or tackle problems of isolation.

“Businesses play a key role in our efforts, by agreeing to supply goods or services at discounted prices and because they want to give something back to society.”

Lincolnshire Flooring is one of the local companies currently supporting SHINE’s Staying Well programme. Explaining what they do to support the programme, Lincolnshire Flooring Managing Director Graham Jefferson said: “Sometimes, because of the sheer volume of work that we do in relation to a new development, we get a line fault in a carpet where a row of tufts may be shorter or longer than the rest.

“Alternatively, we might get a situation where a piece of furniture has made an indentation in a carpet and the customer doesn’t want it, or a builder may ask us if we can switch a carpet, which isn’t quite the shade of beige (a popular colour) a customer thought they were getting.

“In all these cases, a manufacturer doesn’t want the carpet back but, because it is essentially still new flooring, we are happy to sell it at a heavily discounted price to SHINE. It is good to know we are also making a difference to someone’s life.”

Explaining how the support of Lincolnshire Flooring and other companies helps people with little or nothing to stay mentally healthy or to get back on their feet after going through a tough time, Mr Cooke said: “For many people the essentials they need to help them to get back on their feet are furnishings and appliances, but we have also paid for childcare to tide someone over during a difficult period and even offered the loan of a computer.”

One example of this is Ian (not his real name), who suffered depression and psychosis, arising from childhood abuse and his psychologist identified that this was being made worse by sleeping in a single bed, which brought flashbacks and triggers for deepening depression. The programme was able to provide a double bed and bedding for Ian.

He said: “Staying Well allowed me to maintain my mental well being as I needed to ensure that I was in a safe place and my bed was a reminder of past abuse. The new bed allowed me to be free of that.”

Society disables people with mental illness, but the SHINE network aims to help those with mental health problems to achieve the best possible quality of life – by connecting them to the services and support that will most effectively meet their needs.

Any individual, user-led or carer-led group can join the network, as well as volunteers, social enterprises, public sector organisations and commercial businesses. SHINE get referrals from health or social care agencies, which are easier for them to process, but they are also happy to consider self-referrals. For more information, please visit: http://www.lincsshine.co.uk/

SHINE needs more businesses to back its work. Any other business which would also like to support the Staying Well programme can contact Charles Cooke on 07969 875464.

Lincolnshire Flooring is Lincolnshire’s premier independent flooring company. Based on Outer Circle Road in Lincoln, the company showroom offers easy viewing in pleasant surroundings with a comprehensive selection of flooring to choose from, including carpet, laminate, wood, vinyl and LVT flooring. For more information, please visit www.lincolnshireflooring.co.uk/.

Removing tough stains from carpets

imageCarpets continue to be the most popular choice of flooring in the UK. The fibrous material which carpets are made from is great for sound insulation and underfoot comfort, but many would agree that when it comes to removing stains it can be one of the more tricky types of flooring to attend to.

As carpets get older you might start to notice that areas which receive high footfall, such as doorways, start to discolour as very gradually dirt from shoes or socks is brought into the house and on to the carpet.

Inevitably, you’re going to reach a point where the carpet could use a really thorough clean. This can be performed by you, but professional carpet cleaners are also a great option, especially for large carpeted areas.

If you are tackling the job yourself then make sure you use Woolsafe approved products. These are cleaning products that have been approved by carpet manufacturers to ensure that they will not cause any damage to the carpet after use. There are two main types of carpet cleaners you can use, carpet cleaning powder and carpet shampoo. Here’s a quick guide to using both:

For powders

1. Sprinkle the powder over the area of carpet you wish to clean

2. Leave powder for at least 30 minutes, although overnight would be better. This gives the cleaner time to soften up any stains

3. Vacuum up the powder once you’re done

For shampoos

1. Make up the shampoo solution as directed on the packaging. Typically this will involve diluting the product with water. Make sure you get this solution right, as too strong and you could risk damaging the carpet, too weak and it won’t be powerful enough to clean properly

2. Cover the area you wish to treat with the shampoo

3. Scrub in the shampoo on stained areas using a brush

4. Let the carpet dry

5. Vacuum the shampoo once it’s dried

For professional cleaners, the same rules apply. Make sure that they are using Woolsafe products, as this is the only way to ensure that your carpet is not going to be damaged in the cleaning process. Check out reviews online for local carpet cleaners, as this is a great way to find and compare cleaners in your close geographic area.

For one off stains, you probably won’t need to forgo a full carpet clean. Whether its toddlers spilling food, coffee stains from guests or the odd clumsy moment with a glass of red wine - stains are often unavoidable. Ultimately, the first thing you should be aware of is time, as the quicker you attend to the stain the better. If you allow time for the stain to soak into the carpet fibres it’s going to be much more difficult to remove.

Here are some more general rules for stain removal:

  • Soak up liquids with white kitchen roll, tissues, toilet roll or a clean cloth
  • Scoop up or scrape off solids
  • Try to identify unknown spots prior to treatment, this will make sure you’ve got the right product the tackle the job
  • Blot and dab, don’t attempt to rub or drag the stain out. This could result in a much bigger problem!
  • Use small quantities of spot/stain remover at a time, applied to a cloth and not directly to the stain

For more tips on cleaning your floors, please read our guide on how to maintain and clean your floors and carpets.

How to get pet hair off your carpet

clip_image002We love our pets but unfortunately many of them shed hair all over the place. This can be an annoyance not only for owners but also for visitors to the homes of places where a pet lives. In this article we will look at some of the ways we can remove and reduce pet hair in the home.

Everyone loves a plush, warming carpet and they can be particularly nice for pets who appreciate the comfort when they walk around the house. However, many home owners will opt to go for a different type of flooring simply because of the amount of pet hair that can accumulate and become an annoyance.

The key to reducing pet hair is to decrease the chances of shedding and to clean up any that does make its way onto your carpet.

Regular vacuuming of your carpet will help to remove some of the hair that your pet sheds and you should clean thoroughly under furniture as this can be a common place for it to accumulate. If hair is stubborn and won’t easily be vacuumed you should alternate directions with your vacuum to help loosen hairs which refuse to budge.

If your carpet is restricted to one particular area of your home then you could teach your pet to avoid this room and stay within areas which are not carpeted.

In addition to this, grooming your pet regularly by bathing it and brushing its coat can help to control shedding and regular trimming of hair can prevent the loss of damaged or loose hair.

Finally, you could also consider choosing a carpet which matches the colour of your pet’s coat and masks it temporarily between vacuuming or opt for a floor which is easier to remove hair from such as a wooden or vinyl flooring.

To find out more about choosing carpet for your home please click here to see our full length guide.

The pros & cons of manmade carpets

clip_image002When looking for a new carpet you may want to consider carpets made from polypropylene, polyester and nylon, as well as natural materials. Manmade carpets are currently very popular for a number of reasons and are certainly worth considering when you are browsing around for a new carpet. Below, we detail the pros and cons of the main types of materials that are commonly used for manmade carpets.

Polypropylene/Olefin

Polypropylene or olefin carpets were first developed to be used outside and therefore they can cope with a reasonable amount of moisture. Polypropylene is a popular choice because it is very easy to clean and can withstand chemicals from cleaning products. It is relatively inexpensive when compared to other carpet types and holds its colour for a long time. Polypropylene carpets with short fibre heights are very popular in commercial properties, whereas long fibre polypropylene carpets are more often used in homes. The downside to polypropylene carpets is that the fibres do not have a very good bounce back rate, meaning that the fibres may mat down in high traffic areas and it is common to see indents in the carpet from furniture.

Nylon

Nylon is one of the most popular material choices for carpets. The fibres are very strong, they do not produce static and they do not flatten easily in high traffic areas. This allows carpets made from nylon to be used in a variety of rooms, especially when you consider that the material is relatively easy to clean. Carpets made from nylon tend to be more expensive than other synthetic carpets but this should be offset by the durability of the material. However, it is worth noting that although nylon carpets are easy to clean, if stains are not treated immediately you could risk permanent staining, and that certain cleaning products may also remove the dye colouring of a carpet.

Polyester

Polyester has recently become a more popular synthetic fibre for carpets. The material used to have a poor reputation when used in carpets but that has since improved. Carpets made of polyester are less expensive than nylon and its properties allow for carpets to be designed in some of the most vibrant colours. The fibres feel soft to touch which gives a strong sense of quality and luxury when new. The material is a good choice for allergy sufferers, it is easy to clean and it resists moisture well. However, polyester carpets are the least resilient to high footfall and this will become apparent over time if used in high traffic areas. The fibres can become matted and once this has occurred it can be difficult to reverse.

As you can see, there are advantages and disadvantages for all three fibre choices. For more information about choosing, buying, fitting and maintaining carpets, please click here to read our online guide or come and speak to us at our showroom in Lincoln.

A guide to preventing stains on your carpets

cleaning image webIf you have kids or pets, you are likely to be concerned about stains and dirt affecting the appearance of your new or existing carpet. Below are some useful tips for preventing these accidents from becoming a future eyesore.

If you are thinking of purchasing a new carpet, especially in a well-worn area, you might wish to consider a mottled blend - a mid-dark coloured carpet. Choosing a patterned carpet with darker colours will help disguise any stains that cannot be removed. The dirt will still be there but the pattern and dark colours will conceal them. To help reduce the impact of dirt from shoes you may enforce a strict ‘no shoes’ policy and place a welcome matt at your entrance.

Vacuuming is a basic method of ensuring a carpet is clean. Regular vacuuming will add additional wear to your carpet but this can be minimised with a slow and careful approach. To avoid damaging your vacuum you should remove any sharp objects from the floor prior to vacuuming. Treating a stain immediately gives you the best chance of keeping your carpet clean - the longer the stain is allowed to settle the more difficult it will be to treat effectively.

If a stain has been allowed to settle you will need to consider using a cleaning solvent. To deep clean your carpet, domestic cleaning solvents have been developed to remove dirt and stains. However, it is important to bare in mind your carpet’s fibres when selecting a cleaning product and if you are not sure, test the solution on a small area first.

You might have experienced a more serious situation which has led to your carpet being damp. In this scenario, a wet dry vacuum should be able to draw the water out of the carpet and prevent it from becoming stagnant. Until recently, wet dry vacuum cleaners have largely been designed for commercial use but manufactures are now designing models for domestic use as well.

For more information about choosing, buying, fitting and maintaining carpets, please click here to read our online guide or come and speak to us at our showroom in Lincoln.

Things to remember when getting a carpet fitted

clip_image002Once you have chosen a new carpet for your home, you need to get it fitted. Beware of offers that boast of free fitting. After all, carpet fitters have homes and families too and need to eat, so they will be getting paid for fitting the carpet. They don’t work for nothing! And you can be sure that flooring companies won’t be paying them out of their own pocket. So take offers of free fitting with a big pinch of salt, as the cost of the fitting will have been factored in to the overall price of the carpet.

There are two main ways of paying for having a carpet fitted. There are flooring companies that you go to and you pay that company for everything – the carpet, the underlay, the gripper and the fitting, and then there are retailers that you go to and pay them just for the carpet, and then pay the freelance sub-contracted fitter or fitting company separately.

The downside of going with a company that uses subcontracted fitters is that the retailer has no control over the fitter. If there is then a problem with the carpet, who do you contact in order to resolve the problem? Do you contact the fitter because they put the carpet down, or do you contact the retailer, as they sold you the product? You can end up going back and forth from one to the other with neither willing to take responsibility, as you have entered into two separate legal contracts.

Of course, there might not be a problem at all, and many subcontractors do an excellent job, but there is also the potential for problems to arise. The best way to avoid any such problems occurring in the first place is for the retailer to also employ all of their own fitters. Lincolnshire Flooring adopts this approach, and all of our fitters are uniformed and use liveried company vehicles. This means that you when you purchase a carpet from us and get it fitted by us there is no doubt whatsoever about who is providing the product and who is responsible for all aspects of the service you receive. It also means that we have full control over our fitters, train them to a very high standard through apprenticeship schemes, and then encourage them and support them to further their knowledge and experience through both internal and external training.

It is also important when getting a new carpet fitted to get new underlay fitted at the same time. We look at the reasons for this in depth in our article “The importance of underlay when buying a carpet”. 

For more information about choosing, buying and fitting carpet, please click here to read our online guide, or come and speak to us at our showroom in Lincoln.

The importance of underlay when buying a carpet

7When people are buying a new carpet, one of the key ways that they try to save money is by re-using the existing underlay rather than buying new. However, we would always recommend that when buying a new carpet you should buy new underlay to go with it. Why? Because in many ways, underlay is as important as carpet, but this is often overlooked. It can actually provide huge benefits to your home, including making it much more comfortable.

Crucially, new underlay can extend the life of your carpet by up to 40%. It will therefore keep your carpet looking good for longer. New underlay fitted with your new carpet will allow the carpet to sit properly and wear evenly. It supports your carpet from underneath and helps to absorb wear and tear caused by feet and furniture by acting as a buffer or shock absorber, so plays a vital role in helping carpet to retain its appearance for longer. Old underlay will also leave your carpet more prone to indentation marks from heavy furniture. So you might think that you are making a saving by not purchasing new underlay, but it could in fact be false economy.

Underlay is also important for insulation, as it stops heat escaping from your home, keeping your house warmer and meaning you have to use less energy to keep your home as warm as you want it, therefore helping to lower your heating bills. Some studies have concluded that underlay can help to reduce your energy bills by up to 15%, and it can also reduce draughts.

Underlay also has important noise insulating qualities, and in fact it has been estimated that a room with carpet and underlay can be 2.5 times quieter than one without. It can reduce the level of sound within the room, and if you are putting carpet and underlay in an upstairs room it can reduce the amount of sound being carried to the rooms below.

Finally, underlay will dramatically improve how the carpet feels under foot. If you are purchasing a new carpet, probably part of the reason behind you doing so is because you like how soft, luxurious and comfortable carpet feels under foot. New, good quality underlay will provide cushioning to increase that feeling of comfort, and is particularly important if you walk around in bare feet or have young children. Old underlay will have probably lost those soft, bouncy qualities, having been flattened over the years.

So, that explains the importance of underlay, but even when you understand the role it plays you may still think that your underlay is still perfectly fine. But underlay can disintegrate and crumble after lots of use. Many people when buying a new carpet will say that they don’t need new underlay because they have lifted up a corner of the carpet, had a look, and the underlay beneath looks fine. But how often do you walk over the carpet and underlay in the corner of the room? You need to check the underlay in the areas that you walk on most, such as in the middle of the room, in the doorways, and in front of your favourite chair where you might shuffle your feet whilst sitting.

Spending money on a nice new carpet and then putting old underlay underneath it is a bit like spending a lot of money on a brand new car, but then taking the worn tyres off of your old car to save money. You just wouldn’t do it, knowing what a key role the tyres play. It is the same with underlay.

To find out more about choosing, buying and fitting carpet, please read our online carpet guide or visit our company showroom on Outer Circle Road, Lincoln which offers easy viewing in pleasant surroundings and where our friendly and experienced sales staff will guide and advise you through all aspects of your flooring selection.

Which type of flooring should you choose for an office?

3In our previous article on commercial flooring we took a look at the different types of flooring available to businesses and the various pros and cons of each particular one. In this blog we will take a look at the best available options for commercial flooring in offices.

Although picking flooring for your office can come down largely to taste, there are other elements that you should firstly consider. For example, practicality, comfort, branding and durability can all play a significant role. It’s also important to remember to check whether or not the flooring you are purchasing is castor chair proof, otherwise you might end up with unpleasant scratches across your floor.

Carpet

Carpet is a popular choice for office environments and it’s easy to see why. Beginning with installation, carpet is generally quite easy to fit compared to other types of flooring and it’s particularly durable so you should expect it to last a long time. It’s a warm, insulating flooring which can help protect against the cold and it also dampens sounds, which means workers are less likely to be distracted by moving chairs and footsteps. It is also available in a wide variety of colours, patterns and designs, meaning that you have plenty of choice and can easily choose a carpet to match your company’s branding if you wish to. Carpet is also often regarded as the luxurious option, so it can look impressive when you have guests or clients visiting your offices to have a good quality carpet.

Carpet Tiles

Carpet tiles have many selling points. They are easy to transport, easy to install and don’t require an underlay to be fitted beneath them. They are durable and if they are damaged, for example with spilled coffee or a faulty office chair caster, then you can simply replace the tiles that are damaged without having to replace the flooring in the entire room or on the entire floor. This can save a business a great deal of time and money and prevent a lot of upheaval and disruption. As with regular carpet, carpet tiles provide a comfortable and warm surface for your workers and visitors to enjoy, and are available in a wide variety of colours and designs to match your office or your company’s branding

Wooden flooring

A stylish alternative to carpet is wooden flooring. Both solid wood and engineered wooden flooring are potential options when it comes to offices. Engineered flooring makes for a better option if you expect that there may be high moisture levels in your subfloor. Solid wood flooring is incredibly strong so if you expect a high foot-fall or lots of stress on your floor then solid wood flooring is preferable over engineered wood flooring. However, if you want underfloor heating in your office, then you will need to choose engineered wood rather than solid wood. A potential downside to wooden flooring however is that it will scratch. If you don’t want your office floor to scratch then you may want to consider laminate or LVT flooring as an alternative hardfloor.

For more information about choosing appropriate flooring for commercial settings, please click here to read our online guide.